Plain & Simple

Three everyday items that aren’t as healthy as you think

By Robert Beauchamps

Why are so many basic foods less nutritious now than when our parents were kids? It seems that food science can be more about mass production and profit margins than consumer health. It’s up to consumers to be mindful of what goes in the grocery cart.

Low-fat salad dressings
Remember the late ’90s? We spoke in whispers whenever the C-word was mentioned. Cholesterol. It was the bogeyman in the dairy aisle. Salad dressing is the latest example. Naturally occurring fats and sugars are swapped out for flavour enhancers concocted in test tubes. Why not make your own dressing? Start with premium oil. Whisk in flavours like Dijon, sea salt, cracked black pepper, (gasp!) real mayo, quality vinegars, maple syrup for sweetness, and lemon for acidity.

Artificial sweetners
How can something with zero calories hurt us? Turns out prolonged consumption of many artificial sweeteners can have long-lasting effects. Why risk it? Wean yourself off by slowly reducing your intake of sweets and sweetened beverages. When you want to treat yourself, opt for drinks sweetened with ingredients as close to their natural state as possible: maple, honey, and raw cane sugar.

Whole-grain breads
For years, the simplest, most basic of foods has turned into anything but. The claim that a loaf of bread is “100-per cent whole-grain” would lead you to believe the baker used WHOLE grain: germ, endosperm, and bran. All of which are loaded with specific nutrients. But if enriched flour is the first ingredient listed, the natural grain was probably pulverised and “enriched” further along in the process. In short, most sliced bread is a highly processed food. Trust in artisanal bakers or your grandma’s recipe.


Spring 2018, Vol 10 N°2

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